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Issue 41, 2019
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Novel elastic response in twist-bend nematic models

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Abstract

Bent-shaped liquid crystals have attracted significant attention recently due to their novel mesostructure and the intriguing behavior of their elastic constants, which are strongly anisotropic and have an unusual temperature dependence. Though theories explain the onset of the twist-bend nematic phase (NTB) through spontaneous symmetry breaking concomitant with transition to a negative bend (K3) elastic constant, this has not been observed as yet in experiments. There, the small bend elastic constant has a strongly non-monotonic temperature dependence, which first increases after crossing the isotropic (I)–nematic (N) transition, then dips near the nematic (N)-twist-bend (NTB) transition before it increases again as the transition is crossed. The molecular mechanisms responsible for this exotic behavior are unclear. Here, we utilize density of states algorithms in Monte Carlo simulation applied to a variant of the Lebwohl–Lasher model which includes bent-shaped-like interactions to analyze the mechanism behind elastic response in this novel mesostructure and understand the temperature dependence of its Frank–Oseen elastic constants.

Graphical abstract: Novel elastic response in twist-bend nematic models

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Article information


Submitted
10 Jul 2019
Accepted
25 Aug 2019
First published
29 Aug 2019

Soft Matter, 2019,15, 8219-8226
Article type
Paper

Novel elastic response in twist-bend nematic models

J. Shi, H. Sidky and J. K. Whitmer, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 8219
DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01395D

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